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Did you enjoy a cream tea on VE Day?


Whilst the nation did not celebrate VE Day in quite the way everyone  thought they would,  with good old British spirit, there was indeed great merriment  as people celebrated with their neighbours from the safety of our own gardens.

As with many other towns, here in Newmarket, many  decorated their homes and prepared for a stay at home, street party like never before.

Afternoon Tea was a  popular choice for many which begs the question that if  you are going to indulge in a cream tea, which do you believe you should put on first, the jam or the cream? As we are not in Devon or Cornwall, we posed this very question on our Facebook page last week to some of our local businesses to see what the preference is for Newmarket.

First up in our poll was Simon Johnson, owner of Nancy’s Tearooms who prides himself in the wide selection of teas which accompany his traditional, freshly prepared cream teas. As a result of the current closure, they are doing a welcome trade in take-away versions. Whilst they of course do not enforce any rules, their preference is definitely the jam first.

Next, we asked one of Newmarket’s local trainers and former Mayor, John Berry, who was very adamant that of course the jam comes first. He also provided a very interesting take on whether his horses preferred their feed with the carrots on top or underneath. The result was apparently not fussed as long as both were served on time!

Regular visitors to the Wavertree Café at the National Stud will know that cream teas are always on the menu. The manager Jane Evans divulged her preference to us, saying that for her it was again the jam first and she was very much hoping to wash that down with a glass of bubbly on Friday – we like your style Jane!

Steven Parisienne, CEO of Palace House gave us some great insight into his perfect afternoon tea which should include a classic French Fancy. How that took us back when afternoon teas very much featured the Mr Kipling favourite along with the sophisticated cucumber sandwiches, crusts cut off of course. Steven interestingly favoured the cream to be applied first (although we understand he is a great fan of Devon!).

Newmarket’s premier hotel, Bedford Lodge Hotel, serves amazing tiered afternoon teas which even include a slice of Newmarket Cake (for more information on what that is check out one of our earlier blogs or join one of our Guided Heritage Food Trails where all will be revealed). Noel Byrne, CEO, being a practical man, advised us that if you put the jam on first it helped the cream to stick, thus allowing you to apply a little more cream. Now that’s a useful tip.

No round up of Afternoon Teas in Newmarket would be complete without a mention of the Jockey Club Rooms. If you fancy treating yourself or someone else, then why not book onto one of our Champagne Afternoon Tea and Tours. Priced at £40 per person, they include an extensive tour of the historic rooms followed by a truly refined Afternoon Tea experience. Food and Beverage Manager Greg Matisse is a legend and it is well worth booking on a tour just for the chance to be greeted by this charismatic professional! Greg concluded that the answer to the question is simply that it is down to the individual.

Many thanks to all those who featured in our videos  and whilst the consensus appears to be that the jam does go on first, we agree with Greg, that it is entirely up to the individual. We hope you all enjoyed a cream scone on Friday and perhaps like us realised that they aren’t that difficult to make, so perhaps we will knock up a few more scones before lockdown is over!